MILAN, Mar. 18 (Class Editori) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will rely on a new 150 million Fund to promote Made in Italy abroad. The Farnesina, which is now in charge of promoting foreign trade as well, is implementing the decree “Cura Italia”, drafted on March 16 by the government in order to contain the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the domestic companies.
The Fund will allow the creation of an extraordinary communications campaign, with the aim of supporting Italian exports and the internationalization of the domestic economic system in the agri-food industry as well as in other sectors. Also activities aimed at promoting Italy will be improved: they will be carried out both through the diplomatic network and the ITA, the agency led by Carlo Maria Ferro, who has cut the costs for enterprises which take part in the promotion activities and has provided for refunds of the expenses already incurred.
The Fund will also allow non-repayable co-financing activities up to 50% of the financings ensured to SMEs. Due to the state of emergency, the decree will allow faster procedures to implement the plan projections established by the Farnesina. Also for this reason, both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ITA might rely on the collaboration with Invitalia, the agency for investments attraction, led by Domenico Arcuri, who has been appointed during the emergency situation as super commissioner responsible for medical purchases disposing of broad proxy powers.
During the last weeks, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Luigi Di Maio- had already launched a €760 million plan to support Italian productions. “We had also to react to some countries’ behaviour, which were unreasonably afraid and started to demand ‘virus free’ certifications, although EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) itself had reiterated that there is no proof certifying that agribusiness products are sources or transmission routes of the virus”, as the Cinque Stelle Movement has explained. “There is no doubt about the quality and safety of the Italian wine and food products: the Made in Italy agribusiness has always been healthy and of high quality and is still so now”.
The plan settled by Di Maio is expecting that “ITA will finance 100% of the expenditures incurred by companies which have not been able to attend exhibitions due to coronavirus emergency”, in recent times. Moreover, “until March 2021, companies might take part in ITA’s initiatives without paying the participation fee”, which amount at 15 million expenditures. In conclusion, from April, ITA will offer to all the companies relying on a maximum of 100 employees all its services in the foreign offices “free of charge”.
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